Should You Take A Gap Year Before College?

January 31, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Should You Take A Gap Year Before College?

Should you take a gap year before college? With the stress and pressure of high school coming to an end, a gap year can be a tempting opportunity to take a break and explore new experiences. However, the decision to take a gap year should not be taken lightly. In this blog post, we will weigh the pros and cons of taking a gap year and provide insights to help you determine if it’s the right choice.

Whether you need more clarification about your career path, seek real-world experience, or want to travel and broaden your horizons, this post will guide you through deciding if a gap year is right for you.

What is a gap year in college?

What is a gap year in college? A gap year in college refers to a deliberate break a student takes between high school and college or between college years. During a gap year, students often engage in activities such as travel, volunteering, work, or pursuing other interests.

a female student thinking intently

The purpose of a gap year can vary, but it typically provides students with the opportunity to take a break from academics, gain new experiences, and reflect on their future goals. A gap year can also help students develop new skills, gain a new perspective, and prepare for the challenges and responsibilities of college life.

What are the disadvantages of taking a gap year before college?

What are the drawbacks of having a gap year, and should you take a gap year before college? Taking a year off before college is only suitable for some students. It can derail your educational plans and make it more challenging to get back on track. Consider both the advantages and disadvantages before making this decision:

Returning to school could be a difficult transition.

You’ve already entered “school” mode. It might be challenging to get back into the groove of things after taking a year off. Your study habits and learning ability may deteriorate over your year off. This is an essential consideration if you are not highly enthusiastic about education.

Feel lagging behind your peers

When you return to school after a year off, some of your classmates will be a year older than you. You might be one of the class’s older freshmen. This is okay for many students. The current college landscape makes it less of a problem, but you should evaluate whether you will feel behind if you are a year behind everyone you graduated high school with.

Loss of momentum

You’ve gained traction since graduating from high school. You are looking forward to the educational opportunities that await you in college. You can lose that momentum if you take a year off to work. Fortunately, research suggests that 90% of students who take a gap year return to college, so lost momentum is not necessarily a significant issue.


Working throughout your gap years can earn you money. Gap years spent traveling and experiencing new things can be costly. Before taking a gap year, be sure you’re making the most of it and can afford the adventures you want.

Preparation is required

If you wish to travel during your gap year, you must plan ahead of time. If you do not plan ahead of time, you will squander your gap year opportunities. If you decide to take a gap year, make sure to put it to good use.

What are the advantages of taking a gap year before college?

What are the benefits of a gap year, and should you take a gap year before college? Gap years can assist students in gaining insight into their particular skills and ambitions, allowing them to join college with a clear career plan in mind. It also provides perspective by enabling students to reflect on their aspirations without pressure from tests and papers. Here are some of the advantages of taking a gap year:

Acquire work experience

If you were a busy high school student, you probably only had a little time to work during the school day, at least not in any manner that resembled a profession. Taking a gap year allows you to get valuable professional experience. That employment experience can help you assess whether the career you’re contemplating is a good fit for your life experiences, ambitions, and skills.

Break to recharge

You recently finished a minimum of a 12-year academic program. Perhaps you’d want a breather before diving into the following four (or more)? This may be quite invigorating as a means of recharging your intellectual batteries. Taking a gap year between high school and college provides you time to regroup and be ready for what will likely be a demanding academic environment.

Discover potentials

There are numerous life experiences available outside of school. You may have the opportunity to travel, explore locations near your home, or meet people outside of your comfort zone. These kinds of experiences are beneficial in a different way than classroom experiences and should be had.

Young woman working in front of a laptop in a room.

Develop new life skills

You will develop valuable abilities when you encounter various situations in life. Travel some real-world experience during your gap year by learning how to cook, clean, manage a budget, and get around independently. Having these abilities under your belt before starting college will make the transition much more accessible.

Earn extra cash

That extra year before college allows you to work full-time hours. This will enable them to earn extra money for tuition and other college expenditures. Because the constraints of a school schedule do not bind you, you are free to accept any hours that come your way.

Should you take a gap year before college?

So, should you take a gap year before college? The decision to take a gap year before college depends on several factors, such as personal interests, financial situation, and future plans. A gap year can provide an opportunity for personal and professional growth, as well as allow for exploration and reflection. However, it may also delay academic and career goals and impact financial aid and scholarships. It’s a personal choice that should be based on careful consideration and planning.

Additionally, it is essential to carefully consider how a gap year may impact future academic and career plans. Some students use the time to work and save money, while others use it to travel, volunteer, or gain work experience. It’s a good idea to have a clear plan and goals for the gap year and to ensure they align with future plans. It is also recommended to research programs and resources that can support a productive and meaningful gap year experience.

It’s also important to consider the financial aspect of taking a gap year. While some programs may offer stipends or support, taking a gap year can also impact financial aid and scholarships. Researching and understanding the financial implications is a good idea, and plan accordingly.

Two students looking up at a bulletin board.

So, should you take a gap year before college? In conclusion, taking a gap year can be a valuable and enriching experience, but it is essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision. It is always recommended to seek guidance from family, mentors, and college advisors to help make the best decision for your individual needs and goals.

AdmissionSight provides several different counseling and tutorial programs that could assist you in selecting and enrolling in the school that is the ideal fit for you. Because the professionals at AdmissionSight have worked in the field of college admissions for the past ten years, we can guarantee that the service we provide will be of the highest possible standard. Book a free initial consultation to learn more.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.